Is the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) "an attack on God Himself?"
That's what once-prominent conservative activist Brent Bozell says. Bozell, the gingerbearded head of the Media Research Center, issued a statement Tuesday attacking CPAC, as well as its sponsor, the American Conservative Union, for issuing an invitation to the American Atheists to sponsor a booth at the conference. Although the invitation was quickly withdrawn by the political organization, Bozell still fulminated about the very thought of atheists being present at a conservative event "It makes absolutely no difference to me that CPAC and ACU have backed down and removed the booth," he said. "I am sick and tired of these games." He ended his statement by pronouncing "No conservative should have anything to do with this conference. If you do, you are giving oxygen to an organization destroying the conservative movement."
Although it had recently been reported by both Jim Romanesko and The Daily Beast that Bozell has used a ghostwriter for his books and columns for years, Jeremy Little, a publicist contracted by the Media Research Center, confirmed that Bozell did write the statement himself. It marks a new strange foray into controversy for Bozell, whose group, as first reported by The Daily Beast, has been plagued by questions over questionable real estate transactions with David Martin, the organization’s vice president who actually runs its day-to-day operations.
But while CPAC participants may feel uneasy about Bozell saying that they're destroying the conservative movement, they're in good company. After all, in 1987, Bozell attacked Ronald Reagan for betraying conservatives. "The conservative movement did not abandon him, he abandoned the conservative movement,'' said Bozell of the 40th President. Reagan’s sin was failing to provide more military aid to the Contras in Nicaragua. (Since then, columns have appeared under Bozell’s byline that have described Reagan in a far more favorable light).
Bozell has spoken at CPAC in the past but it was unclear if he was invited this year prior to his statement. A incomplete, preliminary schedule did not list him as a speaker and Little did not know if he was. Spokespeople for CPAC did not return multiple questions for comment on this subject. Regardless, Bozell is not likely to speak now, unless the devout Catholic, best known for being William F. Buckley's nephew, wishes to join Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, among others, in waging war on God.